September 2, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Auburn

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ much-needed win on the road at Auburn.

The Good

  • The Razorback defense came to play on Saturday.  Granted the matchup was favorable, but the eight sacks recorded – 3.5 by Trey Flowers – were the most by a Razorback team since the 2000 Cotton Bowl vs. Texas.  The Hogs had just seven sacks on the season entering the game.
  • Defensive Coordinator Paul Haynes unleashed the Hogs, dialing up blitz after blitz.  The constant pressure against the weak, inexperienced Auburn offensive line made it a tough day for both Tiger quarterbacks.  The Hogs netted 11 tackles for loss on the day.
  • The fourth quarter reverse pass by Brandon Mitchell to Javontee Herndon was perfectly executed.  Mitchell’s throw on the run, and Herndon’s dynamic grab in the corner of the end zone gave the Hogs back their two score cushion with 13:30 to play.  Play of the game.
  • A lot of things were different Saturday, and having Paul Petrino in the press box was one of them.  The move allowed Petrino a better view, and in his terms, “take the emotion out of the game.”  We liked the results.
  • The offensive balance made the play-action passing game relevant for the first time this season.  The mix of 32 rush, 28 pass kept Tyler Wilson (20-27, 216 PaYds) clean and the Tigers guessing all day long.  Dennis Johnson (76 RuYds, 2TDs) was a bull.

The Bad

  • After driving the length of the field on their first drive, Zach Hocker’s missed 26-yard field goal off the right upright could have been a huge momentum killer.  To their credit, the Hogs and their defense rose to the occasion and didn’t let that bit of adversity start the slide as in past weeks.
  • That might be the last time we see the front-running Gene Chizik…and that’s bad news for the Hogs.  Chizik apologized to the fans after the game on Saturday saying, “The Auburn Family and fans didn’t deserve this today.”  We tend to think otherwise.

The Ugly

  • The lackluster start by the Razorback offense in the third quarter was a bit disconcerting.  The Hogs, who led 10-0 at the half, ran only 10 plays that netted just 20 yards and no first downs during the frame.  The defense though just would not relent all day.
  • Keante Minor looked a bit shaky back there fair catching punts Saturday.  Minor’s muffed third quarter punt led to a short field and Auburn’s only touchdown of the day.

Of course, we can’t possibly mention everything that was “Good, Bad and Ugly.”  What did we leave out?

  • OwassoHog

    The good… the Hogs wore the nice version of the ugly uniforms! They broke the losing streak… they won on the road.

  • texhogforever

    The bad . . . Auburn . . . they way they played all day.

  • GolfHog

    Good – Dennis Johnson should have been the feature back 3 or the last 4 years and he is finally seeing the field. This is the best thing for Knile too. I bet we see some of the old form now.
    Bad – Auburn was a really BAD football team. We need plenty of work but, fortunately we have some bad teams ahead on the schedule. If we want to finish, we have a long way to go. If Petrino could call plays half as well as his brother this team could be a middle of the pack team. He needs to keep working and, maybe, stop talking to BMFP. He may just need to be his own man.
    I was so please to see Hugh Freeze pull a Richt and blow a big game. Maybe we have a chance if we can coach up some D.
    Ugly – Red legs. The red arms with red legs is an UGLY look. I’m all for mixing up some nike unis now and then. These stink as bad as Auburn’s offense. If you are going with the red arms you have to have the big stripe on side of the jersey like the Broncos.

    • Jim Doggg

      Funny how how there are two ways to look at something. You said Freeze pulled a “Richt” I saw the game and interpreted it as TAMU pulling it out after 5 turnovers. Manziel is the real deal. Ole Miss really played hard and I’m impressed with Freeze. What bothers me about the Rebels relative to Arkansas was their 3rd down conversions by passing. If the Hogs had been able to do that against TAMU then the score would not have been so embarrassing. That the Rebs (Black Bears?) have plays for this is worrying since the Hogs are terrible at stopping 3rd down passing plays. Saturday the newly found blitzes etc and Auburn penalities kept the Tigers at bay on 3rd down and as the song goes, “just out of reach of (my two open arms) first downs.”

      • GolfHog

        The “Richt” was going for it on 4th down late. Freeze has done a good job with his nutty leftovers. He has some good recievers. We will need a big game to beat them. Petrino will have to improve a great deal by then and we will need some injured players to return on defense.

  • Roadhog

    Great: How bout that 70-yard punt by Breeding?

    Weird: We were whistled for an illegal formation, and suddenly I heard screaming in the background. You could hear this strident voice cutting through the crowd noise, silencing the stadium. I thought it might be John L. having a grand mal seizure. But it was actually another ref overturning the call, on the spot, no replay, just disregard the whistle, in our favor. Another time there was a flag but no call. (Oops, sorry, I thought I saw something illegal, but it was against my team and I’ve got a few bucks on this one so never mind.)

    I don’t believe in firing people mid-season, but whoever dialed up these eff’ing uniforms should be looking for a position with less authority. In a different field.

    It felt good not being the team who kept shooting itself in the foot. That is the under-reported story of the year with this team: most of the many injuries to Razorbacks have been self-inflicted foot wounds. And this one coach keeps shooting off his mouth then stuffing his foot in it. Too many foot issues, not enough yards.

    • JIm Doggg

      I thought that some of the reffing was kind of odd. What was with the personal foul on touching the QB? Even the announcer said it was a questionable call, although he criticised the Hog player for not being judicious enough (?). But what got me was the pass play to Mitchell called incomplete which to me on replay looked as though Brandon got his hand underneath the ball. Again the announcer questioning the call. It wasn’t the call that bothered me since calls or no calls are blown all the time. It was whoever is pretending to be a coach on the Arkansas sidelines who didn’t throw the replay request. It was worth another look and even if the call wasn’t overturned it would give team time to regroup and emphasize strategy. The Hogs had two time outs and would have had one left and what made it laughable (sad, really) was they then called two time outs in a row the first being wasted. Get your head in the game guys.

      • Roadhog

        See what I’m saying’? Now Highsmith is out for the season with a “foot injury.” I bet if they released the full report it would be a self-inflicted bullet wound.

  • Defense Wins Championships

    Good for our team!! They needed one even if it may have been an inept Auburn. I would not have thought of them being inept except for the drubbing that LSU took this Saturday. Well, now the ones at AU who see themselves as more important than AU will be pushing for guess who. That will be interesting. AU already wants to fire their head coach, their offensive coordinator, and Dye. Ouch when you lose big at home as AU did. Oh well, fans will be fans although it appears that they have a very young team but when you line up top 10 talent year after year there are no allowances by AU fans or any other ones as far as that goes. Wonder how well they have retained that talent? Be interesting to see a SEC analysis of that.

    Now Arkansas has a chance to win more games. Kentucky, Ole Miss….and…

  • I Like Pigs

    The Good… red helmets.

  • Carolina Hog

    Alonzo Highsmith out for the year. Terrible! Just when we see some daylight. Injuries are no excuse, but damn.

  • T-towner

    Maybe the worst Hocker effort on a FG attempt that we have seen? In golf they call it a duck hook!

  • Jonesboro Hog

    Bad: everyone still griping about the new uniforms. Any uniform can look good when we are winning. Back in my opinion red pants always secured us a loss in my book. Just as bad as me wearing certain Arkansas shirts during game day thinking that was gonna give us at least another touchdown. Like draping my old mcfadden jersey over my coffee table during the lsu game last year, hopeing it would seek us some sort of guidance. When I finally got over the whole superstition thing i realized it never affected the outcome of the game. Unfortunately “looks”do mean a lot to the young players, and our uni’s are top of the line. My thought is our look last weekend was pretty dang good. Look good, feel good, intimidation..!

  • Razorsharp

    Ronnie Wingo Jr. – a senior that seems to be lost in the crowd. 6-3, 230 lbs. looks like Tarzan plays like Jane. Pretty much non-existent. I would say put him at LB given the injuries, but he’s so allergic to contact, would probably be disasterous. Sad.

  • hognaustin

    The BAD – the disappearance of Knile Davis.